of those preparatory schools is to get the boys through their examinations, not as a means, but as an end. They are therefore all organized on one plan. To that plan there is no exception; nor practically can there be any exception. The requirements for admission are such that the labor of preparation occupies fully the boy's study-hours. He is not overworked, perhaps, hut when his tasks are done he has no more leisure than is good for play; and you can not take a healthy boy the moment he leaves school and set him down before tutors in German and French. If you do, he will soon cease to be a healthy boy; and he will not learn German or French. Over-education is a crime against youth. But Harvard College says, "We require such and such things for admission to our course." First and most emphasized among them are Latin and Greek. The academies accordingly teach Latin and Greek; and they teach it in the way to secure admission to the college. Hence, because of this action of the college, the schools do not exist in this country in which my children can learn what my experience tells me it is all-essential they should know. They can not both be fitted for college and taught the modern languages. And, when I say "taught the modern languages," 1 mean taught them in the world's sense of the word, and not in the college sense of it, as practiced both in my time and now. And, here let me not be misunderstood, and confronted with examination papers. I am talking of really knowing something. I do not want my children to get a smattering knowledge of French and of German, such a knowledge as was and now is given to boys of Latin and Greek; but I do want them to be taught to write and to speak those languages, as well as to read them—in a word, so to master them that they will thereafter be tools always ready to the hand. This requires labor. It is a thing which can not be picked up by the wayside, except in the countries where the languages are spoken. If academies in America are to instruct in this way, they must devote themselves to it. But the college requires all that they can well undertake to do. The college absolutely insists on Latin and Greek. . . .
But I now come to what in plain language I can not but call the educational cant of this subject. I am told that I ignore the severe intellectual training I got in learning the Greek grammar, and in subsequently applying its rules; that my memory then received an education which, turned since to other matters, has proved invaluable to me; that accumulated experience shows that this training can be got equally well in no other way; that, beyond all this, even my slight contact with the Greek masterpieces has left with me a subtile but unmistakable residuum, impalpable perhaps, but still there, and very precious; that, in a word, I am what is called an educated man, which, but for my early contact with Greek, I would not be.It was Dr. Johnson, I believe, who once said, "Let us free our minds from cant," and all this, with not undue bluntness be it said, is unadulterated nonsense. The fact that it has been and will yet be a thousand times repeated can not make it anything else. In the first place, I very confidently submit, there is no more mental training in learning the Greek grammar by heart than in learning by heart any other equally difficult and, to a boy, unintelligible book. As a mere work of memorizing, Kant's "Critique of Pure Reason" would be at least as good. In the next place, unintelligent memorizing is at best a most questionable educational method. For one, I utterly disbelieve in it. It never did me anything but harm; and learning by heart the Greek grammar did me harm—a great deal of harm. While I was doing it, the observing and reflective powers lay dormant; indeed, they were systematically suppressed. Their exercise was resented as a sort of impertinence. We boys stood up and repeated long rules, and yet longer lists of exceptions to them, and it was drilled into us that we were not there to reason, but to rattle off something written on the blackboard of our minds. The faculties we had in common with the raven were thus cultivated at the expense of that apprehension and reason which, Shakespeare tells us, make man like the angels and God. I infer this memory-culture is yet in vogue, for only yesterday, as I sat at the commencement-table with one of the younger and more active of the professors of the college, he told me that he had no difficulty with his students in making them commit to memory; they were well trained in that. But when he called on them to observe and infer, then his troubles began. They had never been led in such a path. It was the old, old story—a lamentation and an ancient tale of wrong. There are very few of us who were educated a generation ago who can not now stand up and glibly recite long extracts from the Greek grammar; sorry am I to say it, but these extracts are with most of us all we have left pertaining to that language. But, as not many of us followed the stage as a calling, this power of rapidly learning a part has proved but of questionable value. It is true, the habit of correct